And so the conversation continues … This week I began a series of blog posts connected to a collaboration I initiated on Google Wave. For the details and the vision of the project please take a moment to read this.
The first two articles focused on the following:
- Part One — Successes of 2009 in the meetings and events business!
- Part Two — What’s the priority business issue to focus on in 2010?
I am proud to associate with and thank the following event professionals whom have contributed their thought leadership to this edition, Part Three:
- Jessica Levin, President & Chief Connector, Seven Degrees Communications
- Midori Connolly, CEO and Chief AVGirl at Pulse Staging and Events
- Michelle Bruno, President, Bruno Group Signature Events
- Jeff Hurt, Director of Education & Events, National Association of Dental Plans
- Ian McGonnigal, Executive Director, Strategy – George P. Johnson
- Mike McAllen, Co-Founder, Grass Shack Events & Media
- Samuel J. Smith, Experienced B2B Marketing and Sales Professional
- Cameron Toth, Founder, Toth Communications
Question — What is the next “hot” social media tool and why?
Ian — I think aggregation will be the next big thing. A great example of this is Google Wave. Although this tool is only in preview, it will change the way we communicate, collaborate, integrate and share. Because it is open source and can be user-defined, it will quickly gain use and favor cross-community.
I see Google Wave as the future of collaboration. As a platform it’s powerful, but what’s most compelling to me is what the developer community will come up with as far as extensions are concerned. Imagine one place with your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, email, slideshare, travel plans, audio / video / photo sharing, blogging, RSS and community collaboration. This is going to be huge.
Jeff –>Ian: Aggregation or collaboration? I see these as two different tools–both very powerful indeed. I’m seeing event aggregation tools already like http://almost.at, twubs, & ASAE’s annual event conference hub.
McCurry –> Jeff: So what do you two mean by Aggregation? Not sure i understand.
Jeff –> McCurry: Aggregation is when several feeds of information is sourced together on one page. For instance, all of the tweets with hashtag, all Facebook fan page mentions, all Flickr pics with specific words, all Google alerts with specific words, sourced onto one web page and constantly updated live.
McCurry –> Jeff: Appreciate the clarification… I really believe Google Wave will serve as both a collaboration and aggregation tool. I see a context for its use in both camps. With it’s plugins and extensions clearly it has the ability to embed other applications (not just web 2.0) seamlessly. When you combine that use with it’s collaborative nature the impact on users could be extremely powerful!
Jeff — Mobile applications will be the next “hot” social media tool because the power is being put in the user’s hands. Location-based mobile applications like Foursquare will also see a rise and savvy event professionals will find a way to apply apps such as this to their events and conferences.
Mike — I think those of us nerdo social media event early adopters live in a bubble. We get our panties in a knot talking about the new twitter type tools online. I really feel that the mobile applications will be the driving force for events and meetings. We all carry mobile phones and the new applications will change how we do things. Gowalla, Foursquare types of apps will really take hold and will be integrated into meetings and events.
Jeff –> Mike: Seriously Mike? ASAE used an aggregation tool at their annual conference called the ASAE Conference Hub. It had a mobile application and was a huge hit by conference attendees. That’s not a tech audience by far!
Jessica — I think the event websites will be converted to event communities and they will need to be accessible through both desktop and remote channels. I see tremendous potential for Google Wave as a vehicle to deliver pre-event education.
One thing we often hear is that people go to events and get ideas, but when they return to work, follow-through falls through the cracks. I see speakers using tools like Google Wave to host post-con sessions and continue relationships with their audience. It may provide a strong channel for accountability.
Midori — Yes, totally! This is a GREAT point. It addresses that question that always comes up about whether or not to create hashtags for breakout sessions. If a Wave was created, it could pull what we love about Twitter (ie public access, knowledge capture and sharing, visibility) but permit expansive collaboration and more elaborate conversation: before, during and after the session.
Michelle — I agree that mobile applications will be the next frontier to change the way events are organized and consumed, however I see a void in the space where the implementers (organizers, associations, technology providers) should be providing users with more assistance. The social networking platforms put the technology out there but then (with a few exceptions) don’t really help stimulate usage (especially after the event is over).
There don’t seem to be many “user manuals” on how to use all of the tools being offered on an event effectively. The best information appears to be coming from the bloggers. I think there should be greater efforts to on-board users by those responsible for making the technology available. Did anyone say ROI?
Samuel — Your guess is as good as mine. Last week, I would have told you Google Wave. This week, I think it is going to be Hot Potato – the new real time chat for events. Next week, we will hear about a new tool.
Here’s what I do know – Success with social media is not going to be about tools and technologies. Success will be about people and processes. The events that are able to use these tools to change their content distribution and collaboration models will be the winners.
Midori –> Samuel: Copy that big fella! What’s my favorite thing to say? (Okay, at least one of them) “If it doesn’t serve a human need, technology is just a toy.”
Cameron — I think the next “hot” tool may be a tool that already exists. Facebook is making inroads with other websites across the web. They have been innovating while other social media sites seem to be sleeping. Fanpages, Group Pages are extremely useful. LinkedIn is a closed network and Twitter can be unreliable in both its content and its operation.
Users will define Social Media and Social Media sites and Facebook is by far the most popular and most used. I recently put together an event and Facebook was the driving force. That says a lot about the power of a tool that has been around a while but still growing in its functional usage.
McCurry — For my part I currently see Google Wave as the social media tool emerging in 2010 as a leader. Whether that becomes truth or not largely depends on how Google responds to the current challenges being experienced with its beta release. The application at times runs very slow, especially when you have several people interacting in a wave simultaneously. That worries me, because it’s greatest strength could become it’s greatest liability!
The fascinating thing about our world today is the continuous introduction of new applications into the marketplace. For that reason it may be difficult to predict what will be the front running application in 2010. My colleagues in this article have some excellent insights on the future. Sam’s assertion that it is not about tools and technologies, but about people and processes is in my mind “on the mark.”
I believe we all need to keep an open mind to what lies ahead, because we just might be surprised at how things evolve in 2010! What do you think? Lets keep this conversation going……